Why do I Geek?
It is a question I actually get quite a bit. I’m moving into my mid-forties and a father of two children. Furthermore, I have been an Army Officer for the past twenty years. The culture of the Army, particularly in leadership can be pretty narrow in some fashion. The ‘acceptable’ hobbies most of my peers seem to have relate to sports, athletics, partying, hunting, shooting, and other outdoor activities. I don’t denigrate it – most of my closest friends unwind by doing the above – but things outside of those norms sometimes raise eyebrows. Why can’t you pick something more serious to be into?
I wish that they could have seen what I’ve seen.
I have traveled the stars, rescued maidens, and stood on alien worlds! I served aboard the TCS Victory during the Kilrathi Wars in Wing Commander. I fought with the resistance in City 17 in Half Life 2, taking down Alien Striders while hiding in the rubble. I have stood on the frozen plains of Esamir and launched rockets at advancing Vanu Hover Tanks while tracers and laser beams lit up the dusk sky in Planetside 2. I watched Aeris ran through with Sephiroth’s blade in Final Fantasy VII.
I watched Flash Gordon lead the Hawkmen to victory against War Rocket Ajax. I saw the SDF-1 lead the desperate assault against the Zentradi Grand Fleet in Robotech and I saw the Battlestar Galactica fall out of the sky and take Cylon garrison by surprise on New Caprica. I saw John Crichton face down the Peacekeepers and Scarren in Farscape and saw Colonel McQueen take out the Chig fighter ace in Space Above and Beyond.
I saw the oppressed people of Luthadel rise up against the Lord Ruler in Mistborn. I saw the heroism of the Union Army and Black Dow’s Northmen as they clashed in The Heroes. I kidnapped the Enesha Queen in the Ghost Brigades and saw the Elven Cavalry fight British Tanks while Dragons and Typhoon Fighters clashed overhead in The Nightmare Stacks.
I’m not psychotic. I know I didn’t ACTUALLY do any of these things – these were experiences watching movies, reading books, and playing video games among other things. But does it matter? These experiences were all precious and real to me in the ways that mattered. They comforted and inspired and who doesn’t need such in their lives?
Anyone can visit one of the realms above but to be Geek is to live in them and to think about them when you’re not there. I’m well-adjusted and capable enough in real life – I enjoy my family and my job and gleefully attend to my responsibilities. But I also live in the marvelous reaches of my own imagination, fueled by ray guns and rocket ships, dragons and wizards. I can go places you can barely imagine and I can do it at will. This doesn’t replace my real life – this enhances it and makes it better. And given that I’m a father of daughters, I take them along on the adventures as well.
That is why I Geek.